Friday, July 19, 2019

Biased Fight Against Crime in Millers Essay, The Rush to Punish :: Criminal Justice

Biased Fight Against Crime in Miller's Essay, The Rush to Punish In the essay "The Rush to Punish", Jerome Miller discusses how the nation's fight against crime has been aimed at the poor and minorities. He argues that far too many people are in prison or have criminal records in this country. Miller's main claim is one of policy, which expresses that the nation's current criminal justice system needs to change. He writes, "I'm very pessimistic about where things are heading" (566). This essay discusses issues of racism, stereotypes, individual city systems, and family importance in order to appeal to its intended audience of taxpayers, lawmakers, law enforcement officials, and criminals. General audience members, a fraction of society, may be oblivious to their impact on the system. The warrant suggested by Miller is that society must change its biases and routines in order for the criminal justice system to change. This article is written in question-answer format and has been taken from an interview. This makes the author's opinion very clear and works well to show argument. Miller appears to be sarcastic is some of his answers. This may confuse the reader, therefore distorting his purpose a little. The first support claim the author makes is that the majority of people in prison are minorities. He uses statistics to prove that the percentages of blacks and Hispanics obtaining criminal records are dramatically increasing. A large portion of minority males has a violent label. Miller states, "Now when we talk about building more prisons, when we talk about longer sentences, when we talk about cracking down on violent offenders, everyone knows that we're talking about men of color" (566). This clearly shows that something must be changed about the number of minorities involved with crime and backs up the main claim nicely. The second support claim used by the author is that society has to change how it handles offenders. Average offenders are labeled as serious, violent, and savagelike, but people do not take the time to find out the details of the criminals' pasts and the reasoning behind their acts. Miller writes, "Those are the kinds of things we not only do not want to know but from which we run in fear - because if we were to hear them, we'd all feel a little bit guilty. It's much easier to start talking about people in genetic terms" (567). The author uses this support very wisely.

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